Sinclair Broadcasting, the largest owner of television stations across the nation, is letting local advertisers buy connected TV in a much more targeted way alongside linear and digital.
The broadcaster is teaming up with the connected TV DMP and measurement system Tru Optik to power advanced audience targeting across Sinclair’s owned-and-operated inventory, as well as on third-party OTT publishers.
ZypMedia, a DSP Sinclair invested in in 2015, will execute the media buying. Sinclair had also used ZypMedia for its own digital marketing.
If successful, the partnership, revealed Monday, should help local advertisers improve precision in their cross-screen ad buys.
Previously, Sinclair advertisers could use data to reach targets across linear and digital.
Now, the broadcaster is going beyond the impression level to allow local advertisers to add first- and third-party data to OTT buys.
Sinclair is building deeper inroads into OTT because its advertisers want to reach cord cutters and cord nevers, said Rob Weisbord, chief revenue officer for Sinclair.
And as those advertisers invest more heavily in OTT, Sinclair wanted to lay the foundation to provide audience guarantees, advanced targeting and measurement they’ve become accustomed to in digital.
“Selling just on gross impressions is okay when you’re getting people’s feet wet, but eventually you need to quantify and qualify who that audience is and how well it’s performing for them,” Weisbord said.
The move is significant because of Sinclair’s scale. The broadcast company owns close to 200 stations in 89 US markets and is getting larger with its $3.9 billion planned acquisition of Tribune Media expected to finalize in Q2.
The TruOptik partnership lets local advertisers use their CRM data or site retargeting data to messages specific audiences on connected TV, in addition to the geotargeting by DMA and zip code Sinclair and Zyp already supplied local advertisers.
A local auto dealer, for instance, can also use third-party data to find people who are in market for a pickup truck, and reach them on air, in digital and through connected TV, said Andre Swanston, co-founder and CEO of Tru Optik.
“[Local advertisers will] know when an ad is running on connected TV, and have the ability to understand optimal household reach and frequency through attribution,” Swanston said.
By having the ability to layer on demographic and psychographic data to OTT buys, “It starts to bring the Wild West [of OTT inventory] up to par with linear and digital,” Weisbord added.